Re: aikido kobayashi
I have been unable to find the reference, but I once came across an article about Kobayashi, where Takeda Tokimune was described as observing the practice and commenting publicly, (my best recollection) "This is real Daito-ryu. No one is doing this these days."
Which leads to a couple of thoughts, only slightly tangential:
Terry Dobson said to me that Ueshiba "had this quality where he'd show you something and you'd get the impression he was saying, 'I'm showing you the real stuff. All these other guys - I'm just showing them what they can understand, but you, I'm giving you the real goods.'" Terry then continued, "I've no doubt all the other deshi got the same message. But based on my experience with him, I honestly believe he meant it in my case. I'm the only one who thinks it's funny, though."
That said, I've had a theory for some time that Ueshiba used each "center" of Aikido (Iwama, Shingu, Osaka of Tanaka Bansen, Osaka of Kobayashi Hirokazu, etc.) to study a certain principle he was interested in. In other words, each group was a set of crash-test dummies of one aspect of his art. Otherwise, how could Kobayashi and Saito, for example, be contemporaneous? Saito recalls Ueshiba looking at him in the bath one day and telling him that he was too physically weak. Saito started doing weight lifting with a rail-road tie.
In HIPS, I implicitly suggested that no one was listening and watching well enough. How about an alternative hypothesis that Ueshiba sectored off his presentations and instructions so that each group/shihan, in fact, did get something different. In part, this was according to their character (hence, Terry got the "aiki is love" because that poor guy was so looking for it at the time), and in part, Ueshiba just decided that's what he wanted to work on.